Archive for February, 2009

Strategies for an ambidextrous IT organization

The shown figure of Newton’s Cradle is archived in Wikipedia.

I had some very busy weeks and are now trying to catch up again, goal is a (very) short blog each week. This week’s theme is about ambidexterity of IT organizations. Ambidexterity with people is about being equally performant using your left hand as well as your right hand.  Just like the example of Newton’s cradle where the left and right ball (compare to left and right “hand”) are ambidextrous, IT organizations that are optimally aligned to their Businesses should also be ambidextrous.  The desired ambidexterity should become visible especially in the types of services delivered: commoditized IT vs specialized IT.  Just like the left and right hand example of human beings, the IT organization should have a virtual left hand (in line with the left hemisphere of the brain) that is optimized for delivering the virtual left handed services. The left handed services can be bound to represent all commodity IT services. The virtual right hand (in line with the right hemisphere of the brain) should be optimized for delivering the virtual right handed services. These virtual right-handed services can be bound to represent all non-commodity IT services. So the strategy for an ambidextrous IT organization is to become equally performant in delivering commodity as well as specialty IT services. This strategy can come in place if the internal and external IT organization share all these viewpoints, agree with eachother to make a (strict) separation in optimizing the left-handed vs right-handed processes and agree to have or acquire competences that are matched to the type of IT services (commodity vs specialty) to be delivered.  This strategy for an ambidextrous IT organization can also be more easily matched to strategy development processes as described in one of the previous posts Differentiating Strategy Logic It can also be matched easily to separating IT value chains to match specific innovation goals. In one of my next posts I will add some drawings with models designed to  further explaine all of this. For the time being, here is a first draftof the model I have called “Differentiation Reference Model”. 












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